TEN YEARS FROM NOW
“In ten years, do you see yourself as a middle grade author?” An editor posed this question to me at my very first pitch session. I was terrified, so of course I squeaked out a ‘yes’.
Many, many years later I’m older and wiser, toughened by rejection, and ever hopeful, which is why I can honestly say ‘No.’ I see myself as a productive, published author who is not afraid to write the ideas that are in my head.
This past weekend I heard a speaker who is a retired rodeo, bull rider. Chimp Robertson has written a family memoir, two volumes of rodeo tales, short stories, freelanced for magazines, and is currently working on a western fiction series. Also, he happened to know someone who knew the country singer Chris LeDoux. Long story short, LeDoux recorded two of his songs. Chimp Robertson is a former rodeo cowboy who writes.
His program at the Texas High Plains Writers meeting inspired me to think about a memoir I wrote about a devastating loss. I published it on Smashwords as an eBook, but have had numerous requests for a hardcover edition. It’s time to explore all of the possibilities that this book might become. (Stay tuned.)
I understand now that, if you let them, words can take you on a journey to places you’ve never thought possible. I know that a jumble of sentences can become a short story. I’m rethinking an unmarketable middle grade idea that might work better as a picture book. Your family memoir could lend material for a fictional series. As writers, do we have to be labeled?
Author. Songwriter. Poet. Creative. Playwright. Published. Freelancer. Wordsmith.
Happy. Successful. Writer.
In 2016, I hope you write and realize all of the labels you can ever imagine.
Great article, Natalie. Chimp was a very inspiring speaker. I feel very recharged and my mind is whirling too. My sister and I talked on Sunday about co-writing a fictional book about our parents being newly married in the middle of the Depression. How many books are written by sisters? That’s a story in itself. And it needs to be told. All the stories in your head needs to be told. Especially your memoir! Put it in hardcover and get it out there. It’s powerful. I know you’ve been very frustrated with your middle grade story. Let it sit for a while and do something else. You might get an epiphany that will change the path of that book. A watched pot never boils. Often this is so true.
Great article! Good luck, dear friend!
Thanks for your comment, Linda. What a great idea for a family memoir, and written by two sisters. I’m looking forward to reading that. Absolutely, why shouldn’t writers take advantage of every opportunity that this crazy publishing bizz of today has to offer. That’s the thing I loved about Chimp; he didn’t over think it, he just keeps writing. Thanks for following WordsmithSix.